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September 27, 2010 | by  | in Music |
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Kindling EP



Artist: Jon Lemmon
Album: Kindling EP
Label: (Self-released)

In 2007, Jon Lemmon moved to these shores from the US to work at Weta Digital writing code for Avatar. Spending many hours a week meticulously shading the plant life of Pandora, Lemmon would return to his Newtown flat to work on his passion project: his songs. His technical proficiency has obviously bled into these tracks, as they are sonically rich with detail, layers upon layers of aural shading.

Much like Bjork’s Vespertine, Lemmon’s debut EP Kindling sounds as though it was made for computer speakers or headphones: It’s intended for domestic listening. “I made the music crouched in front of my laptop, so to me it makes sense for the people to receive the music that way too—crouched in front of their laptop.” The music almost sounds better this way, too. Like most bedroom artists, Lemmon was wary of releasing his songs out into the world. Good thing he did though!

Lemmon’s style could be lumped in with chillwavers Washed Out or Neon Indian, but his sound is more autumnal. Summer’s been, and the cold’s setting in a little. Stark beats and chilly atmospheres combined with intimately recorded vocals, make for moments of claustrophobia (as on ‘Nowhere in a Room’, with its motorik rhythm), but these moments never last too long. Early singles, including the standout ‘Home’ were more ‘80s dream-pop sounding, but that sound is expanded here. The songs are more immediate, and more thoughtfully composed. Opener ‘Somewhere with Someone’ could have been an outtake from the Ruby Suns’ latest, with its pulsing synths and serene samples. Its description of “days washing over me, drenching my thoughts while I’m half asleep” sounds about right. It’s about that state of not being able to pin down a feeling, but knowing it’s there. Strangely, ‘The Inside of a Corner’ sounds uncannily like The National, all Joy Division bass and deep brooding vocals, and is the only track with a semblance to indie rock.

There’s a constant sense of striving for light on Kindling. Closer ‘Steppenwolf, pg. 247’ is the perfect encapsulation of this. It references the controversial novel by Hermann Hesse which explores the human condition through surreal prose, and our aim for transcendence in the everyday. Fitting.

4.5/5

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